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Nigerian Navy to procure two new vessels for war against piracy, drug smuggling

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Abiola Seun

The Nigerian Navy has signed a contract with a Turkish company, Messrs Dearsan Shipyard Limited for the purchase of two brand new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) capable of conducting, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations expected to be completed within 37 months.

A statement by the Director of Information, Naval Headquarters in Abuja, Commodore Suleman Dahun, quoted the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, as saying that the contract signing was another milestone achievement by the Nigerian Navy in her fleet renewal effort towards realising her 2021-2030 Strategic Plan.

He thanked the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continued support and goodwill towards the Nigerian Navy.

Vice Admiral Gambo speaking at the ceremony said the Nigerian Navy has in the last couple of months brought to bear her dominant status in the region by sustaining an aggressive presence in the nation’s maritime environment, leading to drastic reduction in acts of criminality in the domain.

He said the President granted approval for the NN to procure two High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels with the capability to carry out maritime interdiction operations, surveillance and special forces operations as well as provide naval fire support to land forces.

“The OPVs will also be capable of conducting search and rescue operations, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations and disaster relief operations among others,” he said.

The CNS further revealed that the Dearsan Shipyard Limited was selected based on its track record and the conviction that the shipyard would be able to construct a platform that could be deployed as an OPV in peacetime, while having the capability and flexibility to be quickly outfitted with sensors and weapons to re-role the platform for warfare and maritime defence purposes, at a cost effective price.

He said the signing of contract marked the consummation of relationship between the NN and Messrs Dearsan which is hoped would lead to more fruitful engagements between Nigeria and Turkey in the future.

While responding, the Chief Executive Officer of Messrs Dearsan Shipyard, Mr Murat Gordi, appreciated the Nigerian Navy and the Federal Government for the confidence placed on their company to construct the Offshore Patrol Vessels.

He further assured that the company would reciprocate by building the best in class vessel for the Nigerian Navy and ensure the contract is faithfully executed to deliver true value for money.
Mr Gordi added that this project will further strengthen ties between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Turkey through the provision of added value in technological transfer and expertise.

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